Moderators: Canuck
Tree Stand Safety
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One of my neighbors fell out of a treestand a few days ago and broke his back. He may walk again some day. Please everybody, wear a harness. He's the second person I've known in 2 years who's had a serious injury from falling out of a stand. I personally won't get in one without a harness because I go to sleep everytime I get in one.
Posts: 1450 | Location: Dakota Territory | Registered: 13 June 2000Reply With Quote
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That's too bad about your neighbor. [Frown]

I'm with you on wearing a harness. I don't take any chances. I'm nearly 300lbs and I often hunt high up, so if I fall out of a tree I'm going to definitely break something. I sure wouldn't want to end my hunting career with a treestand accident.

A good harness does not hinder one's movement all that much, but there are still plenty of people who refuse to wear them... kind of like riding a motorcycle without a helmet. It doesn't make any sense.
Posts: 6545 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: 28 August 2001Reply With Quote
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Picture of Rob1SG
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Tree stand makers say one in three hunters will fall out of their stand. The most dangerous times are getting into and getting out of your stand.My friend fell out of his just as he got into it this year when it suddenly shifted on him as he was putting on his safety belt.I always put another rachet type strap on the bottom so this won't happen.
Posts: 1111 | Location: Edmond,OK | Registered: 14 March 2001Reply With Quote
<Ol' Sarge>
My buddy, Travis, fell outta his stand opening weekend of rifle season.

He wore his harness like a good boy, but had to take it off to climb down (limbs and all).

Slipped on the screw in-steps about 20 ft. up. Caught his cheek on a step and did a flip in mid-air. Luckily he landed flat on his back. He broke two vertebrae, but was able to walk back to the road.

He was in the hospital for a week and will be wearing a back brace for 4 to 6 months.

The Doctors say he should make a full recovery, but I know from experience his back will never be the same again.
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Yup, no one will have to tell him when it's raining outside.

One of my friends fell while hanging a stand Sunday breaking his ankle. He is now very concerned about his job and finances.

I think hanging stands is about the most dangerous thing to do in the field, one reason why I much prefer climbing stands. Pretty much got to take a dive to fall out of a climber too. I have and use hangers but I am very careful with them.

I'm a roofing contractor so believe me when I say something is dangerous, I know whereof I speak. Wear fall protection, your family is counting on you.
Posts: 3167 | Location: out behind the barn | Registered: 22 May 2002Reply With Quote
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I saw my neighbor a couple days ago. He's able to walk, but he went through 7 hours of surgery to get his back together. He fell off the steps when he was trying to take down his stand.
Posts: 1450 | Location: Dakota Territory | Registered: 13 June 2000Reply With Quote

Picture of Mark
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One of my little brothers had a climbing stand collapse on him, it basically dumped him like a trap door while he was getting ready to make a shot, so be cautious of them too.
Posts: 7765 | Location: Between 2 rivers, Middle USA | Registered: 19 August 2000Reply With Quote
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I was a tree climer for years so hights dont bother me and I have never woren a safty harness whill hunting.But after reading this I thank I will purches one befour my luck runs out after all I do have two kids at home that I would like to see grow up.Life is to short so dont take chances when it comes to safty.
Posts: 302 | Location: west virginia | Registered: 10 December 2002Reply With Quote
<recurve shooter>
hate heights ,so i don't climb much any more .also my 336lbs (getting smaller) , like to have both feet planted firmly on the ground .my only lng distance hunt was in Penn. 10 years ago climbed into my tree stand on morning before light stand was put up evening before facing across the side of a ridge every time i breathed it moved by 11am i was facing down the ridge and it had stopped moving was tied in securly but sure wasn't fun .body hurts to much now with out getting slamed dunked out of a tree .
sorry about your friend hope he make out all right .------ herb
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I have had a couple of Bowhunting buddies fall from a tree stand. One just simply fell out when he fell asleep and the other had a tree stand fall with him. Both were in pretty bad shape for awhile and it sure ended thier Bow Season. Myself i allway's wear a Seat O the Pants harness when in my stand. I did however have a ladder stand fall when I was taking it down and I fell approx. 12' but made a good landing and did not get hirt. Know when taking down stands and putting them up I allways have someone with me to help. Tree stand can be very dangerous and you can't be to safe. I fall from a tree stands could end more than just your season. [Eek!]
Posts: 223 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: 11 July 2002Reply With Quote
Although I've my screw ups in a stand I wonder why good friend TURTLE [Cool] has not graced us with his "experiences". He has a great wealth of knowledge of how to fall out of a stand and survive as well as how to have stands fall on your head and only take a few stitches. I on the other hand have had trees break on me with climber starts and fall over in ladder stands. These were good size trees too. I have had climbing sticks fall off trees ( my fault ? yup ) and that SUCKS. I hope that the hard shelled one will share but if not I will give a few accounts [Wink] .
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Well I'm not Turtle, but I fell out of one in 2001. My own damn stupid fault. I was in the process of taking it down and released the top strap. Problem was I released the middle bracket first [Roll Eyes] . As I released the top strap I leaned too far back and the stand swung backwards with me on it. I imagine I looked like one of those Three Stooges clips for a second. Down I came and popped my ankle. I popped it back in and crawled to the ATV, then off to the hospital for x-rays. Fortunately no fracture but it hurt like the dickens for two months. [Mad]
Moral of the story? Follow the directions when putting up AND taking down the stand, AND wear a safety strap.
Posts: 240 | Location: Downers Grove, Illinois | Registered: 21 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Picture of BBTURTLE
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Ok lets step back and. [Eek!] ...... I'll rephrase that. Lets take a look at field misfortunes and "tree stands". We should start by asking what is a "tree stand" [Confused] . I had a skid I nailed to a branch and called it a tree stand. I had six one by eight pieces of pine nailed into a walnut tree and called it a tree stand. I put a platform on a ladder and strapped it to a tree and call it a tree stand. I have a logy ladder stand and call it a tree stand as I do with my Ol'man ladder stand. I have a lock on used with climbing sticks or spikes I call a tree stand. I use a fifteen foot tripod set in a grove I call a tree stand. Then you have the Death trap called a "climbing stand".Please note that my life has been saved by using a proper safety strap or harness ALWAYS use one.
Now as for tree stand safety? [Wink]
If you build you own climbing ladder and nail it to a tree this can happen.
1) As it gets weathered the steps tend to break and leave you with lower extremity pains.
2) When these are repeatedly ascended and descended they start to work their way out of the tree and thus deposit you on your back
on the ground.
If you nail platforms onto trees/branches this is possible.
1) If not secure to said tree or branch they tend to fall to the ground and if said hunter is "standing" he too if forced to the ground.
2) Its the weather thing again. Lets face it they rot you gain weight and Crash to the ground you go.

If use "ladder stands" this may happen.
1) tree falls down.
2) You fall down
3) Straps break and you and stand fall down.
4) Your buddy using a "climbing stand" and sitting above you decides he may want to drop the base on your head as you go to full
5) Your dog decides to pull the secure strap as you are wrapping it around said tree.
6) You run your stand over in the field and decide to repair it and use it the next day and find that it falls apart just as you get settled in.
7) As you place your platform against the tree and start securing it you find that you are in the biggest thorn bush ever and end up
bleeding more that the animals you are going to "bag" and if you are really lucky you get to fall into the same bush after your
"SAFETY" strap fails ( this years fall ).
If use "lock on stands" this may happen.
Sorry this brings back too many nightmares.
If use "climbing stands" this may happen.
This is along the path of lock on stands but I'll state this. Make sure the tree you choose will not fail you even in the wind and make
sure that your base is attached to the seating platform ( this is a good time to have a cell phone ).
My best fun: [Roll Eyes]
If use a tripod this may happen:
First make sure that you are the only one putting up this 300lb tower.
Second is to make sure your trusty dog is with you
Third is try to put this tower into place but make sure the dog is under your feet.
Forth is step back on dog and trip [Eek!] .
Fifth is to drop the 300lb tower on your head.
Sixth is stop the dog from licking you back to life a drive to the hospital for a head full of stitches [Frown] .

There is so much more to share but I think I'll put it book form [Big Grin] .
Turtle [Cool]
Posts: 1115 | Location: SE PA | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
One of Us
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Highly recommend the Fall Guy harness system to maintain your safety going up and down.
Posts: 55 | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With Quote
One of Us
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I use the Summit/Seat of the Pants rope with pusic knot whenever I am climbing/descending with a lock on. Always attached to the tree.
Posts: 116 | Location: Mississippi | Registered: 07 January 2005Reply With Quote
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I highly recommend the FallGuy System for the utmost in safety.
Posts: 55 | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With Quote
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I also will no longer under ANY cercomstances what so ever install, climb into or out of, or hunt out of a tree stand with out wearing a full body harness. I use a Summit Seet of the pants FBH. Yea, I had my own skid mark inducing close call with nearly falling over 25 feet while putting up one of my stands.

I would like to add two things:

First, I always adjust my harness high enough above myself as to render it near to impossable to fall out of the stand in the first place, and if I do fall out Im not so low as to not be able to easly get back into my stand once I regain my composure. I make sure I secure my stands so tightly to the tree I cant knock it out of wack if i fall out of it.

Second, you should only use a waist harness if you wish to kill yourself by suffocation in the event you should fall. Harnesses that atatch around the waist like a belt should be avoided as if your life depends on it cause it does. I watched a special on some cable hunting show and thay did a demminstration of a simulated fall where the volunteer was suspended so as to place all his weight on his diaphram as would be the case if you fell if wearing a waist type harness. He also had an EKG atached to him. In less time than anyone could have possably got them selves out of trouble, he would have passed out, and subsequintly suffocated, acording to the EKG data thay were getting durring the simulation. I could not help nut notice the volunteer in question was younger and in MUCH better phyical shape than most hunters I know.

THE number one cause of death and serious injury of deer hunters is falling out of their treestands. More than all other causes combined.

Unbeliavably I am the ONLY one of the six people who I know who deer hunts from tree stands who uses a FBH, and I am the only one who uses a FBH religiously.

If you hunt long enough and hard enough the odds are you will fall out of a tree stand, more likely than not.
Posts: 71 | Registered: 11 June 2005Reply With Quote
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I've gone a step further. I use a fbs- supplied by my cousin. It's a linesmans harness and pretty comfy to use. It also has a fall arrester-If a person falls it slowly releases and stops the big thud at the end of the rope. It goes without saying that your harness should attach to the tree above you so that there is a minimum of slack before you hit the end of the rope.
My stands are usually never higher than 15 feet or so, I couldn't imagine sitting 25 feet up in a swaying tree. Yikes

the chef
Posts: 2763 | Registered: 11 March 2004Reply With Quote
new member
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I read some good advice on this forum a few years back.

I believe the poster called it the Rule of Three.2 hands + 2 feet = 4. Using the rule of three never climb or descend unless you have some combination of 3 of the above in good firm contact with your steps or ladder rungs.

Absolutely not meant to replace fall protection. Just good advice.
Posts: 8 | Location: Southern Alberta | Registered: 31 August 2006Reply With Quote
One of Us
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Huntnturn, that applies to climbing mountains too. It's good advise.
Posts: 2763 | Registered: 11 March 2004Reply With Quote
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